A monumental year, 2016 saw Canada’s Rolston String Quartet earn attention and gain recognition from international audiences and critics alike. Culminating the year with a First Prize win at the 12th Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), the quartet’s winning included Astral’s National Auditions, and Grand Prize of the 31st Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. They were also prizewinners at the 2016 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition and the inaugural M-Prize competition. There is no wonder they were named among Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” in 2016. Rolston String Quartet continues to be recognized for their musical excellence, they are the 2018 recipient of - and first international ensemble chosen for - the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America.
On the heels of their Banff win, Rolston String Quartet immediately embarked upon the BISQC Winner’s Tour, taking them to Germany, Italy, Austria, Canada, and United States. As Musical Toronto states, “they performed with a maturity and cohesion rivaling the best string quartets in the world.” In the 2017-2018 season, they will perform throughout Canada, United States, Europe, and Israel. Highlights include appearances in such venues as the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Koerner Hall at the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music, and the Esterhazy Palace.
Rolston String Quartet began as the Yale School of Music’s fellowship quartet-in-residence in the fall of 2017. They have also served as the graduate quartet-in-residence at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and have participated in residencies and fellowships at the Académie musicale de Villecroze, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Robert Mann String Quartet Institute, St. Lawrence String Quartet Seminar, and the Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Festival.
Notable collaborations for the Rolston String Quartet include performances with renowned artists Andrés Díaz, Gilbert Kalish, Mark Morris, Donald Palma, Jon Kimura Parker, and Miguel da Silva. Additionally, they have worked with songwriter Kishi Bashi and composers John Luther Adams and Brian Current. Primary mentors include the Brentano Quartet, James Dunham, Norman Fischer, and Kenneth Goldsmith, and the quartet has received additional guidance from the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Barry Shiffman, Miguel da Silva, and Alastair Tait.
The Rolston String Quartet, Luri Lee (violin), Emily Kruspe (violin), Hezekiah Leung (viola) and Jonathan Lo (cello), was formed in the summer of 2013 at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Chamber Music Residency. They take their name from Canadian violinist Thomas Rolston, founder and long-time director of the Music and Sound Programs at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
Luri Lee plays a Carlo Tononi violin, generously on loan from Shauna Rolston Shaw. Rolston String Quartet is endorsed by Jargar Strings of Denmark.